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The NewLife Blog

September 12, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

God uses imperfect people

This past Sunday, I shared a quote from Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and one of the men responsible for Samaritan’s Purse, two of the leading Christian relief organizations in the world. The quote, which was so true in his ministry, was “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” With a resume like that, you probably envision a passionate man of God, giving his all to share the love of Christ with all who came across his path. And you would be correct to a large extent. But there was much more to the story of Bob Pierce....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Bob Pierce

September 5, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Will the house ever be clean?

It is a continual struggle around our house to keep things clean and in order. As you can imagine, four children (along with the occasional foster child) and a few pets cause their fair share of chaos on a daily basis, and do precious little to help repair the damage. Every night, once the kids finally fall asleep, we find ourselves amazed again at the amount of work that goes into simply maintaining some semblance of order. Having dealt with this experience on a continuous loop for the past twelve years, I have come to realize that there exists, more so in my wife but still to some extent in me, a desire that everything would be in its right place....Keep Reading

Tags: Heaven, Order

August 29, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Praying for Houston

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3) We are experiencing unprecedented crisis and chaos in our beloved city. Right now, all over social media you will find people telling others that they are praying and asking the nation to pray for the people of Houston. How are we to pray? The Scripture is clear on ways to pray in times of distress. As I’m praying, below are my requests to the Father and I thought I’d pass them along to you....Keep Reading

Tags: Prayer, Suffering

August 15, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

It is well with my soul... behind the music

If you have ever listened to K-Love, you know that they have an occasional segment called “Behind the Music” where a singer shares the story of where their song comes from. I often find that I develop is a greater emotional connection to the song when I know the heart behind the words. The same holds true for the classic hymns of the church. One of the most powerful “Behind the Music” stories is the story behind “It is Well with my Soul,” which was written by Horatio Spafford in the 1880’s....Keep Reading

Tags: Worship, Suffering

August 1, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Purity of heart is to will one thing

Every month, I try to spend one work day away from the day-to-day responsibilities of being a pastor. I travel to the Center for Retreat and Renewal in Simsbury and try to avoid email and phone calls for the day. Instead, I spend extended time with God, I try to bring order into the scattered pieces of my life, and I work on aspects of my job that require extended, uninterrupted time. But the first thing I do upon arriving is to put on one specific song....Keep Reading

Tags: Worship, Purity

July 25, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Rest in peace, Brian Fearon

This past Thursday, Brian Fearon passed away. Brian and his family had been a part of NewLife since 1999, and he will truly be missed. At his memorial service, one of the songs we played was Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Like many older hymns, it is filled with words and phrases that are no longer part of our modern parlance. In particular, the second verse begins with this peculiar line: “Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thine help I’ve come.” Naturally, most people think “Scrooge” when they hear Ebenezer. But the word is actually drawn from 1 Samuel 7:11-12, where Samuel sets up a stone of remembrance, naming it Ebenezer, in order to commemorate how the Lord has helped His people....Keep Reading

Tags: Death, Faith

July 18, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A song in my despair

Music has a way of helping us express ourselves in ways that we might not be able to do on our own. When it comes to my worship of God, music often helps me enter into His presence and express whatever emotions are on my heart. There are songs that remind me to trust in God, others that give expression to the joy I feel in knowing Him, and still others that express the deep longing of my heart to know Him more. But the song I want to share about today is one that touches me at a depth that no other song has ever reached....Keep Reading

Tags: Music, Despair

July 11, 2017 by Anonymous 0 comments

Guest blogger: Anonymous

When I read Pastor Eric's request for people to write in and share about songs that have impacted them, I felt a nudge in my spirit. It was the kind of nudge that makes my heart race, my hands grow sweaty, and makes my mind flood with foreboding thoughts that if I were to follow through then surely I will embarrass myself. It's safer to close off my heart to avoid the hurt that transparency can welcome. I thought, “No thanks, Lord. I don't want to.” Then felt His reply, “You don't have to... but this is a good thing.” I started to reflect and write and make the connections that those two things sometimes bring about. In the end I came up with the following:...Keep Reading

Tags: Music, healing

July 4, 2017 by Carrie Campbell 0 comments

Guest blogger: Carrie Campbell

I don’t remember where I heard it, but I will always remember how awestruck I felt when I first heard that music is one of the very few things we have in this life that will not pass away. In Revelation, all of God’s creation is worshipping Him, and I have since often imagined myself joining in the chorus of voices singing praises to our Lord. Though we can only imagine what that will look and sound like in heaven, I do believe that God gives us a small glimpse of this through the music we have here on earth. Music is eternal. This realization confirms the countless experiences I’ve had as music gave melody, lyrics, and rhythms to the highs and lows of my life over the years....Keep Reading

Tags: Worship, Music

June 27, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The hope of heaven

In a book I read recently, an American Christian interacted with a seminary student from Africa. The man from Africa expressed his amazement at how little Americans speak of heaven in church. In his country, he said, they talk about heaven all the time. But, he realized, Americans don’t talk about it as much here because we have everything we think we want in this life. We are so comfortable that we don’t need to look ahead to heaven. Perhaps there is some truth to this...Keep Reading

Posted in: Heaven Tags: God, Heaven